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"I have two Finnish dogs and one Norwegian cat."

Translation:Minulla on kaksi suomalaista koiraa ja yksi norjalainen kissa.

July 20, 2020

14 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jpsallas

Why is it norjalainen?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KristianKumpula

Because it's modified by "yksi", which is the only number that doesn't trigger partitive case.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/zamlet

So, just to be sure I understand this, if I had three Norwegian cats it would be correct to say "Minulla on kaksi suomalaista koiraa ja kolme norjalaista kissaa."?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/zamlet

Also, one other thing I don't understand: why are we using the singular forms of the nouns? I don't get why the noun isn't plural when we're clearly talking about more than one. Is it because the numeral is explicit? "kolme koiraa" vs "(several) koirat"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KristianKumpula

It's because the numeral is singular. All numerals have both a singular and a plural form. The plural form would prompt a plural noun phrase and a plural verb phrase. The plural form of "kolme" is "kolmet", which means "three sets (of something)".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/zamlet

Thanks for the explanation. It's hard for me to imagine why there is a need for singular vs. plural numbers - if "kolme" can be singular, can "yksi" be plural? When would you ever use that distinction in a real sentence?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KristianKumpula

Yes, the plural form of "yksi" is "yhdet". It would refer to one set of something. Perhaps one of the most common examples is something along the lines of "otetaan vielä yhdet", which means "let's have another round of drinks". It's also used with plurale tantum nouns, i.e. nouns that are always plural, such as "furniture" (the Finnish equivalent "huonekalu" can be singular too). A Finnish example would be "häät", which means "wedding" (note that the Finnish word is plural even though the English translation is singular). An example sentence would be "siellä oli meneillään yhdet häät", meaning "there was a (certain) wedding going on there". "Kolmet" refers to three sets of something, such as "kolmet kengät", meaning "three pairs of shoes", and also three instances of plurale tantum nouns, such as "kolmet kasvot", meaning "three faces" (again note that the Finnish word is almost always plural even though its English equivalent commonly appears in singular form as well).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KristianKumpula

but is a wedding plural, conceptually, because there's more than one person involved?

I don't know why it's plural.

Can it take a singular form?

Never


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/zamlet

Wow. Thanks for that explanation! I'm learning a lot of new concepts in these comments, but I have a feeling this may be an especially difficult idea in Finnish. I get that first example: "let's have another one" (i.e. round of drinks), but is a wedding plural, conceptually, because there's more than one person involved? Can it take a singular form?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LiiMai

Norwegian forest cats are so cute :3


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AGreatUserName

Norjalaiset metsäkissat ovat niin söpöjä! :kolme

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